The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has announced the winners of its 2017 Image of the Year competition

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated January 24, 2017 03:42 PM
Credit: Cradled Creations

Photographer Jaydene Freund was set to capture the at-home birth of a mother in her native Canada, when the mom decided — while already dilated at 8 centimeters — that she wanted to give birth at the hospital instead.

“They could have called for an ambulance because she was so far along, but she decided to get in the car and get there right away,” recalls Freund, 32. “I knew that I didn’t want to drive behind them because she was 8 centimeters and a second time mom so things could progress quickly, so I went with them in the backseat.”

While sitting in the back of the car, Freund captured the mom during one of her contractions, and her emotionally charged photograph — which she titled “Road to Deliverance” — was just named the winner of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers 2017 Image of the Year Competition.

“As a birth photographer, it’s not just about capturing the moment of birth — it’s about capturing the story behind the birth, from the labor to visitors coming hours after the baby is born,” says Freund.

“So many women experience this difficult ride to the hospital, where every bump is elevated and every turn feels like the worst turn. But they don’t have photos of this moment because you don’t often have a photographer with you when you’re driving to the hospital!” she says. “I think this is a special photo because it captures a moment so many women know, and [when they see it they] can go back and feel the intense emotion of labor in the car.”

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Check out some of the other winners of IAPBP competition below:

Best In Category: Labor

“Determination” by Katie Mathis Photography

Credit: Katie Mathis

Best In Category: Postpartum

“Straight from Heaven” by Natasha Hance – Birth Unscripted

Credit: Birth Unscripted

Honorable Mentions

“Joyful Finale” by Elise Hurst Photography

Credit: Elise Hurest Photography

“Honoring the Temple” by Elliana Gilbert Photography

Credit: Elliana Gilbert Photography

“Birth of a Mother” by Cat Fancote – Capturing Birth

Credit: Cat Fancote